Kids Who Love Trains Will Be All Aboard for These Amazing Destinations

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Indoor Places to GoOutdoor Places to Go

Trains captivate kids and adults alike as they rumble down the tracks. The way they roll, chug, and puff along is so fascinating for children. We have quite a few train-lovers in my family, so we’re always on the lookout for fun ways to find locomotives big and small!

This list has destinations and events across Chicagoland and beyond that celebrate all things related to railroads for kids who love trains.

Berwyn’s Toys & Trains

A model train coming around the track at Berwyn's Toys & Trains store

Berwyn’s Toys & Trains
7025 Ogden Avenue
Berwyn, IL 60402
(708) 484-4384

This shop stocks Chicagoland’s largest collections of model railroading products, specializing in Lionel O Gauge electric trains, but also carries Thomas trains and tons of other toys.

The Great Train Story at the Museum of Science and Industry

The Great Train Story at the Museum of Science and Industry
Museum of Science and Industry
5700 S Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60637
(773) 684-1414

Model railroad with more than 20 trains running on 1,400 feet of track, completing the winding journey between Chicago and Seattle. This exhibit is also near the aviation exhibits for more transportation exploration. For extra credit, take the Metra downtown, then hop on a CTA bus to the Museum Campus stop!

Oakridge Hobby and Toy Store
15800 New Avenue
Lemont, IL 60439
(630) 435-5900
A great store with countless trains to see and explore. The store is located near the train station in downtown Lemont.

Thomas Ford Library

Thomas Ford Library
800 Chestnut Street
Western Springs, IL 60558

Thomas Ford has a train in the hallway leading to the children’s area downstairs. Although it doesn’t move, train lovers will enjoy exploring and reading books in the train cars.

Train Saturdays

DuPage County Historical Museum
102 E. Wesley Street
Wheaton, IL 60187
(630) 510-4941

Running every third and fifth Saturday, DuPage County Historical Society welcomes guests to see 2,000 feet of track covering DuPage County landmarks.

LEGO Train Show

Photo courtesy of Cantigny Park.

Cantigny Park
1S151 Winfield Road
Wheaton, IL 60189
(630) 668-5161

December 9 and 10, 2023

This annual event is full of large displays with moving Lego trains. It’s free to visit with the parking fee at Cantigny.

Great Midwest Train Show

DuPage County Fairgrounds
2015 Manchester Road
Wheaton, IL 60187

The world’s largest monthly model train show featuring operating model train displays, LEGO layout and HO layout for the kids to operate. Running the first Sunday of every month.

Siegel’s Cottonwood Farm

Siegel’s Cottonwood Farm
17250 S Weber Road
Crest Hill, IL 60403

Ride the train during Pumpkin Fest from the end of September through Halloween each year.

Illinois Railway Museum

Illinois Railway Museum
7000 Olson Road
Union, IL 60180
(815) 923-4391

Their very popular Day Out with Thomas events are held during the summer, but there’s fun to be had here all year round, including Pumpkin and Happy Holiday Railway Santa Trains. Check their events tab for info on their family-friendly events.

Fox River Trolley Museum

365 S, La Fox Street
South Elgin, IL 60177
(847) 697-4676

Take a trip on a historic train at this museum showcasing antique trolleys and railroad cars. Tickets include unlimited round-trip rides, which run about 35 to 40 minutes; see the schedule for departure times and hours. Open weekends only. Tickets are $8/adult and $5/child 3–11 years old, with kids 2 and under riding free. Tickets are $6 for seniors 65+, first responders, active military, and military veterans.

Monticello Railroad Museum

992 Iron Horse Place
Monticello, IL 61856
(217) 762-9011
Museum with an operational railroad and yard, with train rides on Saturdays and Sundays from May 6 to October 8 in 2023. Check out the events calendar for other events throughout the year, including donut train rides, a murder mystery trip, and dining events.

Railway Garden

Gabis Arboretum
450 W 100 N
Valparaiso, IN 46385
(219) 462-0025

Their outdoor G-gauge model train garden tells an American history story. Trains only run from 10:00am – 3:00pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, now through October 31, and are weather-dependent; they encourage calling ahead if the weather looks iffy.

Other Ideas for Train-Filled Fun

We’ve got even more ideas for kids who love trains to get their locomotive fill.

Sunnyside Park in Wheaton.
  • Get your food delivered in a train car while you enjoy your train-themed surroundings at these Train Restaurants.
  • Hop on the Metra! What’s more exciting than actually being on the train? We’ve rounded up Kid-Friendly Stops Along the BNSF for all your planning needs. Kids 6 and younger ride free; remember to download the Ventra app and buy your tickets ahead of time to make travel a snap.
  • Polar Express Rides are offered in December, but registration starts early. Our Polar Express and Holiday Train Rides list has all the details for 2023!
  • Head to Blackberry Farm in Aurora or Pirate’s Cove in Elk Grove Village for small train rides for young kids. There’s so much to explore at both destinations and with unlimited rides on the little train, kids will have a blast.
  • There are play trains in the sandboxes at Maryknoll Park in Glen Ellyn and Sunnyside Park in Wheaton.
  • Make a train from cardboard boxes at home with Annie’s instructions.
Annie’s train made from cardboard boxes.

Did we miss your favorite spot to see trains? Let us know in the comments below!

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1 Comment. Leave new

  • Downtown Downer’s Grove also has a very nice toy store at the corner of Main and Curtis, less than 2 blocks from the train station.

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